Jos 5:14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
Jos 5:15 And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.
Immediately after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the 22nd day of Nissan (April 30, 2016), Joshua crosses paths with a man holding a drawn sword in His hand, standing near Jericho. There was apparently nothing remarkable about the man’s appearance but Joshua must have sensed in his spirit that this person was somebody “special”.
When the man identifies Himself as the “captain of the host of the LORD”, Joshua immediately falls on his face and worships Him. Most Bible commentaries identify Him as the preincarnate Jesus Christ, and I agree with them. Joshua would not have worshipped anybody but Jehovah Himself.
It is interesting that the stranger does not identify whose side He is on.
It reminds me of a famous saying by heavy weight boxing champion Joe Louis during World War II. “We’re going to do our part… and we’ll win because we’re on God’s side.” Joshua should have asked, “Are you for Jehovah, or against Jehovah?” One thing guaranteed, whether WE win or lose, depends only on whether we are on God’s side.
I believe the name of Jericho itself helps us identify this stranger’s identity.
JERICHO: H3405, yerı̂ychô yerêchô yerı̂ychôh, yer-ee-kho', yer-ay-kho', yer-ee-kho'
Perhaps from H3394; its month; or else from H7306; fragrant; Jericho or Jerecho, a place in Palestine: - Jericho.
Hitchcock’s Bible Names Dictionary is even more specific about the name of JERICHO:
“his moon; his month; his sweet smell.”
How appropriate it was for Mary, so many centuries later, to also fall at His feet and anoint Him with sweet smelling ointment! Nissan was the month Mary anointed Jesus to prepare Him for His burial. Nissan is the month Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world, and Nissan is the month He was resurrected from the grave.
Joh_12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Later, in chapter 6 of the Book of Joshua, the stranger with the sword is plainly identified as the LORD. This is a meeting of great spiritual significance. Joshua (Yehoshua) meets face to face with the preincarnate Jesus (Yehoshua). It reminds me of the passage in 1st Corinthians:
1Co 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Remember that Moses changed Oshea’s (Deliverer) name to Joshua (Jehovah Saves). Joshua is suddenly meeting his namesake face to face. Suddenly, Joshua is placed in the same position as Moses before him. Right before the conquest of the land of Canaan, Joshua is speaking with the LORD face to face.
Num 12:5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
Num 12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
Num 12:7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
Num 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the SIMILITUDE of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
SIMILITUDE: H8544, temûnâh temûnâh, tem-oo-naw', tem-oo-naw'
From H4327; something portioned (that is, fashioned) out, as a shape, that is, (indefinitely) phantom, or (specifically) embodiment, or (figuratively) manifestation (of favor): - image, likeness, similitude.
We understand from this passage that Moses did not hear from Jehovah in dreams or visions, but he spoke to the EMBODIMENT of Jehovah. Now suddenly, on the day after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Joshua was also speaking with the LORD face to face. Therefore, the LORD could give Joshua detailed commandments about what Joshua and the children of Israel NEEDED to do next.
Jos 6:2 And the LORD (Jehovah) said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.
Jos 6:3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.
Jos 6:4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.
Jos 6:5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.
Jehovah plainly tells Joshua that He is going to GIVE Jericho to him. The LORD gives Joshua some detailed instructions. If you are not familiar with the Bible, these instructions may appear to be strange and nonsensical, but if you are familiar with stories in the Bible, these instructions make perfect sense…the children of Israel were about to wage war, NOT in the flesh, but in the SPIRIT!
First, when we walk around or through an area, we are claiming it in the spirit.
Gen 13:17 Arise, WALK through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.
Jos 18:8 And the men arose, and went away: and Joshua charged them that went to describe the land, saying, Go and WALK through the land, and describe it, and come again to me, that I may here cast lots for you before the LORD in Shiloh.
Second, blowing the rams horn or shofar, represents trusting in God’s GRACE. The children of Israel could not take Jericho by their own strength or effort, they must simply trust that Jehovah would GIVE them Jericho as He promised them.
Gen 22:13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
Gen 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
JEHOVAHJIREH: H3070, yehôvâh yir'eh, yeh-ho-vaw' yir-eh'
From H3068 and H7200; Jehovah will see (to it); Jehovah-Jireh, a symbolical name for Mt. Moriah: - Jehovah-jireh.
Jehovah will see to it! If Jehovah promises something, HE will perform it. If God promises to give us something, we simply acknowledge His promise by claiming it, then patiently and expectantly wait for Him to provide it to us.
Third, they walked around Jericho for seven (7) days, and on the seventh day, they blew the shofar seven (7) times. Remember that the number seven represents completeness, wholeness, blessing, and rest. God always seems to ask us to DO something as an act of FAITH. He is NOT asking us to WORK for His grace, but He always wants us to TRUST Him and step out in faith. He may ask us to build an ark, or He may simply ask us to tie a scarlet cord in our window.
The children of Israel were going to be witnesses to a direct intervention by Jehovah. Most of Jericho’s fighting men were probably on the walls of the city preparing for what they believed would be an imminent attack. How perplexed they all must have been while watching the armies of Israel silently marching around the walls of the city day after day.
Finally, on the 28th day of Nissan (May 6, 2016), the armies of Israel march around the walls of Jericho seven (7) times. The priests blow the shofar one last time and Joshua tells all the people to SHOUT!
Jos 6:16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, SHOUT; for the LORD hath given you the city.
SHOUT: H7321, rûa‛, roo-ah'
A primitive root; to mar (especially by breaking); figuratively to split the ears (with sound), that is, shout (for alarm or joy): - blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph.
The children of Israel started shouting before the battle even started because the outcome was pre-ordained. They were on Jehovah’s side; therefore, they were on the winning side. The walls of Jericho come tumbling down, probably with most of Jericho’s fighting men tumbling down and being crushed beneath its fallen stones.
Perhaps most important, one part of the wall DID NOT FALL DOWN! Remember that Rahab’s house was located on the wall. God honored the promise of the two spies and He spared Rahab’s house and EVERYBODY who took refuge in her house.
Jos 6:22 But Joshua had said unto the two men that had spied out the country, Go into the harlot's house, and bring out thence the woman, and all that she hath, as ye sware unto her.
Jos 6:23 And the young men that were spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and her father, and her mother, and her brethren, and all that she had; and they brought out all her kindred, and left them without the camp of Israel.
It appears that we do not have to be physically on God’s side, as long as we are “spiritually” on God’s side. I believe the world and everybody in it is about to go through some significant changes. My next article is going to focus on the woman Rahab and what may be a very significant date for the world: May 6, 2016 or Nissan 28th.